Posts Tagged ‘fishing hot spots’

Lake St. Clair Bass Opener 2014

June 20, 2014

This bass opener on Lake St. Clair is sporting large numbers of catchable smallmouth and largemouth.  In a year where many were predicting a late season after a long, harsh winter we seem to be right on schedule.  By design, opening day is designed to coincide with the end of the spawn and the advent of the post-spawn period.  That’s right where we are.

Some environmental factors like weed growth and early migration patterns for birds have run behind.  There are many spots that should have mature weed on them by now and they don’t.  It hasn’t affected the bass though.  Arguably, opening day is one of the most difficult to fish for high weight and this year is no exception.

East winds over the last couple of days plus north winds this weekend haven’t slowed the bite down much.  The numbers are there but some presentations like topwater might be weak for smallmouth.  Water quality is good to excellent in most spots.

Fishing pressure will most likely hit a new high this weekend.  The normal array of large tournaments are in play but a good number of club tournaments from all over will fill the Lake as well.

Canadian Mist continues to be the “go to” bait for this body of water but keep some St. Clair Crayfish on hand as well.  It just sold out at the BP store at 9 Mile and Jefferson and we have to restock them right away.  That tells us something about the bite!  As we move in to the mayfly hatches keeping some Xtreme Bass Tackle Mayfly can be an excellent choice as well.  Fish it “wings up” or “wings down.”

If you are fishing down river don’t forget to stop in at the Bait & Tackle Box on Jefferson and Grosse Isle Parkway in Trenton for your Xtreme Bass Tackle needs.


You will see a new spot on your Marked Maps Live! reports…spot #99.  We’ve added this as a catch all for area information that we gather that is not spot specific.  The reporting has been picking up speed and we are just getting started.  Watch the “News” section too for tips on what to watch out for in the current reports.

Click here to buy Xtreme Bass Tackle baits or Combat Bass Fishing products

Lake St. Clair Bass by Billings and Pierce – Spring 2014

May 17, 2014
Tom with a 5 1/2 lb. Smallmouth

Tom with a 5 1/2 lb. Smallmouth

Tom Billings is rolling with his pattern from last year and this year continues to hunt down big smallies on Lake St. Clair.  This spring cold conditions and east winds have been keeping the bite down but no longer, as we see with Tom’s latest monster smallmouth (5 1/2 pounds) to add to his Lake St. Clair photo gallery.  Boating a nice smallmouth like this comes down to good seasonal timing, excellent spot selection, skill and picking the right bait like the Xtreme Bass Tackle St. Clair Crayfish tube that you see in the photo.

(To see the biggest St. Clair smallmouth caught on Xtreme Bass Tackle baits in 2013 by Tom Billings (6.9 lbs) click on this link and go to timeline 1:40 on the video)

Steve Pierce with his hands full

Steve Pierce with his hands full

Not to be outdone, Tom’s partner Steve Pierce had no problems boating some sweet bass of his own.

With a catch rate around 60 to 70 bass today, Tom and his friend Steve Pierce found it to be worth the trip from Chesterton, Indiana.  It wasn’t just bass either.  It was a respectable multi-species day as well.  The following photos tell the rest of the story:

It looks like the slow period is over and the hot bite is on.  Come on over to Lake St. Clair…the water is fine!

Tom boats a musky

Tom boats a musky


This drum must have put up some fight!

This drum must have put up some fight!

Lake St. Clair Fishing Show Fall Special 2013

September 18, 2013

Don’t miss the upcoming episode of the Lake St. Clair Fishing Show as we talk about the fall conditions and how to make the big adjustment from summer.  “Mr. Big Fish,” Frank Keller and I take you through our day where we fished against some of the toughest conditions imaginable.  You can see how we switched up spots, presentations and species to put together a decent catch.

It also comes with a  bonus segment!  Frank and I went out on Tuesday and did better yet…tune in this week Friday and see at:


Get a preview of the show that will be posted sometime during the day on Friday…

Lake St. Clair Smallmouth Bite on the Increase

August 2, 2013

There is little doubt that the bite has picked up on Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River.  More and more we are seeing smallies chasing our hooked smallie up to the boat to try to take the bait away from it.  Down deep, the bass are coming back for a second or a third try after a missed hookset.  These are good days and a lot of fun.

One of the key reasons for the uptick in the bite is the shift in feeding habits from mayflies to baitfish.  Bass are coughing up baitfish on the way to the boat and on the boat.  We are seeing bass busting minnows on the surface, casting to them and catching them.  An unusual number of white bass schools on bass spots are another indicator that baitfish are present.

Marked Maps customers will find a record number of spots covered in Marked Maps Live! this week!

Don’t miss the Lake St. Clair Fishing Show this week (it should be posted by Saturday morning).  We cover “how to make small adjustments to get the big bite” and more!


Lake St. Clair Bass – Big Bite Coming On!

July 27, 2013

Now that the bite is back, where do we find the “big” bite?  Individual strategies are endless but each theory must go up against a hard, cold reality…We need to be where the big fish are.  Figuring out what section of the big water is holding the best supply of big fish can be a daunting task.  Let’s see if we can cut it down to size.

We can do this by sectioning off the system into three pieces:  The Lake, the St. Clair River Channels and the St. Clair River (One of these sections will hold more active big fish than the other).  That’s what we did on Thursday.  We picked one section to fish hard, and it paid off.

Our average catch size was very good and we got in to better numbers of three and four pound smallmouth.

Wayne 4-2Wayne 2

Peter Garchow 2Peter Garchow 1

One way that Marked Map owners can get dialed in on the best section to fish is through the reports on Marked Maps Live!   Myself and staff reveal the spots that we have been fishing, the size of the bass that we catch and put in notes about methods and tackle.

For more information about Lake St. Clair see The Lake St. Clair Fishing Show which is published every week.

A special thanks goes out to Peter Garchow, DDS for catching and supplying us with some great “big” smallmouth photo’s.

Peter Garchow, DDS
630 36th Street SW
Wyoming, MI 49509

Lake St. Clair Smallmouth – River Run

July 18, 2013

Now that the post-spawn bite has come to a close, the question on everyone’s mind is, “How strong is the bite in the St. Clair River?”

This week we took a trek up the St. Clair River which started at the mouth, and ran up to Fawn Island.  You can see video from the trip on my fishing report given on The Lake St. Clair Fishing Show as soon as the new one is posted on Friday.

Marked Maps Live! subscribers can get the spot-by-spot detail RIGHT NOW by logging on and viewing the chart.  This week the records are filled with commentary which can go a long way toward helping you plan a trip this weekend.

One bait that stood out for production was the Canadian Mist drop-shot tube.  I stuck with tube jigs all day and was rewarded in a couple of spots but my friend Mark Hill beat me up pretty good all day long with the drop-shot.

Have a great weekend!

Lake St. Clair Fishing Show – Bass Edition – Week 4

July 5, 2013

This week on the Lake St. Clair Fishing Show we have updates on the tournaments for this weekend, a recap of the tournaments from last week and get some tips on how to survive the post-spawn bite!

NEW FEATURE: We now have an index on the website so you can select the segments that you prefer to watch

To go to the show, click below:

The Lake St. Clair Fishing Show

Have a great weekend!

Lake St. Clair Canadian Opener 2013, Smallmouth On The Move

June 21, 2013

cbf_goodThis Saturday, the fourth Saturday in June, Canadian waters is open to bass anglers.  After over a month and a half of catch and release on the U.S. side, the obvious conclusion is to go after those bass that are untouched.  Nothing wrong with that logic…so many top quality spots become available like Askin’s Point to Pike Creek, the Belle River Hump, Stoney Point, Mitchel’s Bay, the Stakes, the Horseshoe and the Firecracker.

No matter what country you fish in, the order of the day is to target transition spots.  Post-spawn bass are clearly on the move and in a feeding mood.  Finding the hottest spots without pre-fishing can be a challenge.  With a day or two on the water it isn’t too hard to line up the best fishing by hitting all the popular spots, gauging the bite then figuring out where the strongest concentration of smallies are.

The good news is if you happen on to one of these transition spots, the bite is simply phenomenal.  Some spots fish similar to pre-spawn where you can fan cast around the boat and load up but a higher percentage of spots fish best right now with optimum boat positioning and targeted casts.


Mayfly Hatches/Slicks

Slicks are becoming more prominent.  We are still seeing more smaller mayflies on the U.S. side but this week found big slicks of husks from large mayflies on the Canadian side.  Here is a video of a slick and scale photo of the husks from spot #11 in the Marked Map Series:

Mayfly Size

Mayfly husks from that slick shown to scale


On Marked Map spot #13 we found this kind of water clarity:


This buoy cropped up at Marked Map spot #16.  It’s marking a tree branch in 7 feet of water.  We didn’t find any bass on it this trip but there will most likely be bass on it every day from here through the end of summer.

New Buoy


Three bass (Note: Multiple bass were caught on the Xtreme Bass Tackle St. Clair Goby NFT tube).

Week 2 Fat Smallie Week 2 Smallie 1 Week 2 Smallie on NFT


Here is the layout on the weed growth at Marked Map spot #15:

For more information on Lake St. Clair, click on this link and see the NEW LAKE ST. CLAIR FISHING SHOW – Bass Edition!

For Tackle & Marked Maps:

Phone orders: (877) 485-2223

Fishing Show:

NEW! Lake St. Clair Fishing Show – Bass Edition

June 14, 2013

Now you can get weekly updates on Lake St. Clair bass fishing from Combat Bass Fishing and Great Lakes Bass; powered by the expertise of Zowada Animated Productions!  We will be bringing you updates each Friday through the end of September on the latest on bass behavior, location, tournament coverage and more!

So enjoy the ride (we are) and click on the links below to get started making your Lake St. Clair experience the best that it can be!



Cool Weather, Hot Bite on Smallmouth Bass on Lake St. Clair This Week

June 7, 2013

Cooler temperatures just couldn’t slow down the bite with the “main body” spawn in full swing.  We are enjoying those active days on Lake St. Clair that bring in folks from all over the country.  The type of fishing where both anglers in the boat are catching and as they put the boat on the trailer to leave that day, they both know that they are leaving biting fish.

Wayne 4-15 with Capt. Mike 2 600One day on the boat with Capt. Mike McGrane was one of those days.  We spent our time south of Lake St. Clair Metropark and found steady numbers of spawning smallmouth, with an occasional largemouth mixed in. Capt. Mike was the host on this trip.  He picked apart the structure with deadly efficiency while working the bass at a variety of depths.  As a guest on his boat, I spent the balance of my time rotating through colors and presentations, trying to gauge the bite.  Even though Capt. Mike was hooking up with twice as many bass as I was, I managed to pick up this 4 lb. 15 oz. smallmouth at the end of the day.  The second bass is Capt. Mike’s.  We ended the day with a double!

ImageThe next trip out was with my friend, Rick Glanz.  For years we have been making trips out to the Lake but this one will be one that won’t be forgotten.  It started off with a fast biting school of largemouth that had taken up around a rock pile.  They bit everything we threw but the 5″ Canadian Mist X-worm had Rick dialed in on the best of them.  The picture of Rick here just shows one of the average largemouth but we got a look at the real monster (4 lbs or better) as it got off, right at the boat.  They were hitting topwater too!  Once the school of largemouth moved off the spot I caught a couple of smallmouth then the rock bass started blasting the topwater bait…really!

We hit a few more spots with mixed results then at the end of our day, about one in the afternoon, things got interesting.  We were floating in six feet of crystal clear water with smallmouth cruising all around our boat.  I’ve been in this situation many times before and the bass are normally skittish.  Today, they were curious!  So curious that it wasn’t a matter of “if” the smallmouth were going to hit, it was a matter of “when.”

Rick with Smallmouth 600Rick was hooking up with the Canadian Mist drop-shot tube.  Many times, all he had to do was drop it straight down off the boat then watch the smallies come up to it, check it out, then take it in.  At first I was throwing a 4″ St. Clair Goby NFT tube on an 1/8 oz. tube jig and getting smallies to hit as the bait was on its way to the bottom, or on the bottom.  Around the boat, there were active, post-spawn smallies busting the surface from time-to-time.  I had to trolling motor up to some of them but it was worth it.  On casting to surface activity, I was three smallies on five tries.

Even though we were doubling up and having fun, I couldn’t resist changing up one more time.  Because these bass were so curious, it seemed like a perfect time to bring out…the “Whopper Popper.”

ImageNow Rick isn’t the first person to comment on my unlikely chances for success by bringing a bobber to a smallmouth fight, but the first cast quickly settled that issue.  By putting a Canadian Mist drop-shot tube (with a ball jig and a 2/0 hook inserted halfway into it) into play, I proceeded to rack up more doubles with Rick.  It was a fast and furious finish to a day that neither of us will ever forget.


Mayflies Selfridge 06-05-2013The mayfly hatches have started, but not all species are the same color or generate the same bite.  Prior to launching, we found these mayflies on shore.  They look more black than anything else and they are small.  About 1/2 the size of the mayfly species that seems to generate the best bite.  Keep your eye out for the larger ones that tend to shade toward a cream color in the belly and if you look closely, they have a chartreuse stripe on their wings.  When you see those, the mayfly bite is on!  BTW – Did I mention that Xtreme Bass Tackle has a tube design based on several of the most productive species of mayfly?  It’s called, Mayfly

Click here to read a blog on how to fish the “Mayfly” tube

You can order Xtreme Bass Tackle baits at or call TOLL FREE at (877) 485-2223

Marked Map owners can see where we were fishing by subscribing to Marked Maps Live! for only $29.98 a year.  Call the toll free number to order or go to the Marked Maps Live! login page, scroll to the bottom and order via PayPal. Click here to go to the Marked Maps Live! web page.